In a since deleted tweet, a Miami Herald columnist insinuated that re-opening beaches in Florida would “thin out” President Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis supporters “who value money over health.”
“Packed beaches should work nicely to thin the ranks of Trump/DeSantis/Gimenez supporters in #Florida who value money over health,” Santiago tweeted.
“As if constant bias wasn’t enough, the liberal media is now openly wishing for the illness and death of supporters of President Trump,” said Trump Victory Spokeswoman Emma Vaughn. “This deeply inappropriate statement — which the Miami Herald should fully condemn — encapsulates why trust in the American media is at an all-time low.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., called out Santiago’s tweet on Fox News’s “The Next Revolution.”
“I will give you the most vile example of media hatred from just hours ago. Fabiola Santiago, a columnist with the Miami Herald, tweeted that essentially it would work out nicely if crowded Florida beaches resulted in the death of Trump and DeSantis supporters because that could result in more political power for the Democrats,” Gaetz said.
Rep. @MattGaetz calls out this Miami Herald Columnist for saying that it would “work nicely” if crowded Florida beaches resulted in the deaths of Trump & DeSantis supporters. pic.twitter.com/yiGVrgH45t
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) April 20, 2020
Donald Trump Jr. also called out the media bias over at the Miami Herald.
“This tweet from a Miami Herald columnist tells you all you need to know about her, and based on their hiring choices, likely everything you need to know about the Miami Herald as well. Their flagrant bias continues to go unchecked. Disgusting,” Trump Jr. tweeted.
This tweet from a Miami Herald columnist tells you all you need to know about her, and based on their hiring choices, likely everything you need to know about the Miami Herald as well. Their flagrant bias continues to go on unchecked. Disgusting. https://t.co/FOmn5zxnaK
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 19, 2020
The Florida GOP is calling on the Miami Herald to denounce the Santiago’s deleted tweet.
“Miami Herald will you denounce your writer’s hate-filled tweeted openly rooting for the deaths of Floridians who support President Trump, Gov. Ron DeSantis, and Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez?” the Florida GOP tweeted.
.@MiamiHerald will you denounce your writer's hate-filled tweet openly rooting for the deaths of Floridians who support President @realDonaldTrump, @GovRonDeSantis and @MayorGimenez? Disgusting. #FireFabiola #CancelMiamiHerald https://t.co/3t07UkJqtQ
— Florida GOP (@FloridaGOP) April 20, 2020
After Santiago received intense backlash, she issued a half-hearted apology claiming her intent was to sound the alarm about “prematurely opening up the country and the state.”
“I deleted the tweet commenting on people at the beach because it didn’t accurately convey my sentiment and I want to apologize for the phrase I used that offended many people. Regardless of political differences, I would never wish any harm on anyone,” Santiago said. “In fact, my intent was to sound an alarm about prematurely opening up the country and the state. I was trying to open eyes, minds, and save lives, not create a controversy about me instead of the issue, which merits discussion.”
In fact, my intent was to sound an alarm about prematurely opening up the country and the state. I was trying to open eyes, minds and save lives, not create a controversy about me instead of the issue, which merits discussion. #StayHome #BeSafe #practicesocialdistancing
— Fabiola Santiago (@fabiolasantiago) April 20, 2020
But Santiago was not alone in her contempt for Floridians. Other mainstream outlets including the Washington Post, the New York Times and CBS included “#FloridaMorons” in headlines Monday above their reports on photos circulating of re-opened Jacksonville beaches.